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Ben Knowles

Position: Co-Director & Clinical Supervisor
Phone: (03) 7019 2396
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As a co-director of Adventure Works, Ben is dedicated towards seeing outdoor health and bush adventure therapy become widely available for people from all walks of life who face difficulty or hardship. He has experienced and witnessed the self-affirming and life-changing joy of a time spent in the bush and the breadth of healing that can accompany this.  As a child and young man Ben spent a great deal of time exploring his local bush in the Adelaide hills, and the mountains and the forests of the central and Western Victoria.

He grew up living in a country pub, on small farms and in small communities. These early experiences laid a foundation that would become a strong therapeutic practice grounded in the lived and unfolding experience of people, culture and place. With over 20 years of experience, alongside his work with Adventure Works Australia, Ben has embarked on a PhD project that he hopes will contribute to the maturation of the outdoor health sector.

Ben began work in the outdoor education field in 1997. His education includes: a Master of Narrative Therapy and Community Work (University of Melbourne), a Graduate Diploma in Narrative Therapy and Community Work (Dulwich Centre), a Graduate Diploma in Experiential Learning (Victoria University), and a Bachelor of Education majoring in Outdoor Education and Environmental Studies (Victoria University). Ben is a founding member of the Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy. He is an Accredited Supervisor and holds Clinical Registration with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia.

Over his adult working life Ben has found himself traversing the fields of outdoor education, teaching, training, bush adventure therapy and clinical therapy. As a freelance instructor, trainer and program manager in the outdoor education field, Ben gained valuable insight into big programs, logistics, risk management, resourcing and managing relationships with large client schools. In the teaching field Ben has worked with a number of aboriginal communities around central Australia, most significantly in Ti Tree where he was able to co-create an innovative curriculum with the secondary students there. Ben also worked as a sessional lecturer at Victoria University, lecturing in theories of outdoor education and leadership in the outdoors. In the field of bush adventure therapy, Ben has worked with people across the sectors of mental health, drug and alcohol support and disadvantaged youth. Significant among these was Out Doors Inc; The Outdoor Experience; and, Typo Station where he worked as the coordinator of the Typo Station Young Men’s Program, carrying on the work of many predecessors. Alongside Adventure Works, Ben recently finished nine years as a senior clinician, trainer and NMT consultant with Berry Street’s Take Two program working with young people who have experienced significant trauma and neglect.

Since 2007 Ben has been significantly involved in the establishment of the Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy Inc. Over this time he has been responsible for holding a number of roles including a four-year term as Chairperson of the association (2010 – 2014). He is currently one of two Australian representatives who hold dual roles sitting on both the AABAT committee and on the Adventure Therapy International Committee.

Current Roles, Affiliations, etc.

  • PhD Candidate | University of Tasmania
  • Accredited Supervisor & Registered Clinical Counsellor | Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia
  • Phase I Certified | Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics
  • Level 2 EMDR Trained | EMDRIA
  • Organisation member of the Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy Inc
  • Co-lead of the Ethics and Good Practice Working Group | Adventure Therapy International Committee